01/31/2011 4:42PM

Halsey Minor faces auction of property in foreclosure


Months after he made a bid for MI Developments’ struggling racing assets, Thoroughbred owner Halsey Minor is facing more of his own financial troubles.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has foreclosed on Minor’s historic Virginia property, Carter’s Grove, and plans to auction it Feb. 15. It is the latest in a series of financial problems for Minor. Last year, California’s Franchise Tax Board listed Minor and his wife, Shannon, as the state’s largest tax delinquents with a tax bill of more than $13 million. He also has faced a number of creditor lawsuits, including multimillion-dollar suits filed by Merrill Lynch’s affiliate M. L. Private Finance and the Sotheby’s auction house.

Minor has fought several of the suits aggressively and told the Williamsburg Gazette that he might stop the foreclosure by putting his company that owns the Carter’s Grove estate, Carter’s Grove LLC, into bankruptcy. Minor bought the estate for $17.2 million in 2007 but now claims he has withheld his mortgage payments since July to protest the mansion’s poor condition, which he said was concealed from him at the time of sale.

Soon after the purchase, Minor had told Daily Racing Form he hoped it might eventually help revive Virginia’s leadership position as a Thoroughbred breeding state. Minor’s major Thoroughbred purchases that year included paying $3.3 million for dual Grade 1 winner Dream Rush. In addition to offering up to $320 million late last year for the MI Developments racing assets, Minor also once offered to purchase Hialeah and revive it for racing.

Minor is the founder of the technology news site CNet.